Integrated ocean surveys have confirmed that gas hydrates, ice-like solid materials composed of methane and water, are widely distributed in deep sea sediments worldwide. Gas Hydrate Research Laboratory (GHRL) of the Meiji University was establised for intensive sea-going expedition and laboratory studies of ocean sediments at Surugadai Campus in 2012. The Laboratory has been moved to Ikuta Campus of the Faculties of Agriculture, Science and Engineering, focusing on an integrated research on the origin, distribution and the process of the accumulation of gas hydrates and a possible impact of gas hydrate dissociation on global climate.

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    • R. Matsumoto of GHRL obtained Scientific Research Fund (Kakenhi) for the three-years project, "Growth and decay of gas chimneys and pockmarks in the Sea of Japan"

    • Gas Hydrate Research Laboratory in Surugadai Campus moved to the Ikuta Campus

    • H. Tomaru of GHRL obtained research fund for bilateral project between Japan and Russia for collaborative research expedition in the Tatar area, northern part of the Sea of Japan.

    • R. Matsumoto and C. Aoyama have published research article in Journal of Geography (Chigaku-Zasshi), Vol.129, No.1, dealing with the revision of the amount of methane emitted from a single methane seep in the eastern margin of the Sea of Japan. They made a correction of their previous estimate based on recalculation and newly obtained experimental data. Corrected values are only 0.1 % of the previous wrong numbers.

    • Glen Snyder of GHRL published paper on Nature Scientific Reports, dealing with a life in massive gas hydrates. He identified microbes to form micro dolomite crystals within micro-pore space in hydrates. The presence of saline fluid inclusions inside of shallow gas hydrate which host microbial life and microdolomite have presently only been documented in Joetsu basin. Future research should be carried out with gas hydrates from a number of other environments, including permafrost and deeper gas hydrate in order to see if their distribution is widespread. Ancient microdolomites have been found at a number of fossil seep sites around the world, and the study of present microdolomites may be able to tell us whether these environments at one time hosted gas hydrate. Because microbial matter and fluids are trapped within these microdolomites, these materials may preserve important geochemical evidence of the geochemical and environmental conditions in which gas hydrates formed in the past. As more and more evidence accumulates pointing to the trace amounts of methane gas in the atmosphere of Mars, as well as indicators of subsurface fluids, it is possible that similar microbial life has at one time existed on our neighbor planet. If this is the case, microdolomites may hold the key to understanding such life."Evidence in the Japan Sea of microdolomite mineralization within gas hydrate microbiomes" DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58723-y

    • IHS Kingdom Seismic Interpretation Software Awarded to the Gas Hydrate Laboratory,